Skip to main content

Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

See other formats


confined himself to nods and headshakings in reply
to questions. But when conversation became inevit-
able the doctor had very soon asked angrily, "Why
the hell don't you stop that whispering?5' The verdict
had been against his fractured thyroid cartilage;
though, as Durley remarked, it didn't seem to him to
make much difference whether you shouted or whis-
pered when you were up in an aeroplane. "You'll
have to take some sort of office job," I said. But he
replied that he hated the idea, and then logically
advised me to stay in England as long as I could. I
asserted that I was going out again as soon as I could
get passed for General Service, and called for the bill
as though I were thereby settling my destiny conclu-
sively. I emerged from the restaurant without having
uttered a single anti-war sentiment.

When Durley had disappeared into his aimless
unattached existence, I sat in Hyde Park for an hour
before going back to the hospital. What with the sun-
shine and the effect of the hock, I felt rather drowsy,
and the columns of the Unconservative Weekly seemed
less stimulating than usual.

On the way back to Denmark Hill I diverted my
mind by observing the names on shops and business
premises. I was rewarded by Pledge (pawnbroker),
Money (solicitor), and Stone (builder). There was
also an undertaker named Bernard Shaw. But per-
haps the most significant name was Fudge (printing
works). What use, I thought, were printed words
against a war like this? Durley represented the only
reality which I could visualize with any conviction.
People who told the truth were likely to be imprisoned,
and lies were at a premium. ... All my energy had
evaporated and it was a relief to be^back in bed. After
all, I thought, it's only sixteen days since I left the

558